I remember before we had our first daughter and everyone telling me how much my life would change. I didn't really believe them, I imagined that we would still be at music festivals, still be eating out and that we would just have an addition with us.
To an extent this was true, although the music festivals now tend to be of the kid friendly variety, as do the restaurants and the holidays. I am happy about the changes but I would lie if I said it was an easy transition into parenthood. It is more like a seismic overnight shift.
Adele was right when she said that being a mum can be tough. I am usually capable and decisive but at times with both my daughters I haven't had a clue what to do, not a clue.
For me the biggest change was in my identity, before I became a mum I was very clear who I was I was a senior leader in a secondary school, I liked to have fun and I was Ruth.
After becoming a mum I met people who didn't even ask me my name. They called me "Jessica's mum" and I was just as bad. I went for coffee with people and I never knew their names, it was like we were invisible and our babies were the only important thing so it didn't really matter about our names or us.
Having a kid later meant that my identity was wrapped up in what I did. I used to dread the question of what I did "well I am an assistant head teacher but at the moment I am on maternity leave so..." quickly became "I am on maternity leave" to "I am a mum". I didn't feel that I really did anything (when in reality I was working harder than I probably ever had).
Saying I make purees, keep my child alive and do yoga didn't make me feel like I was winning at life even though I was pretty happy with this existence.
I didn't really start to feel like me again until I returned to work and even though the hours no longer suited me I felt that I had part of my identity back, and my independence.
Going back to work also highlighted how much I had changed. In some ways that was great, I previously would have let office politics affect me and now I was able to shrug them off, I was a million times more efficient as I knew I couldn't stay until 9pm to finish things off anymore (when you don't have a cut off time I find I can be painfully slow).
It soon became clear that I didn't feel I could be as good as my job as a mum as I wanted to spend my extra time with my family rather than working. It made me reflect on the unhealthy habits I used to have of working 12 hour days and never going outside and never taking a lunch break. Of thinking it was "normal" to take my work laptop on holiday and talk about my issues with my friends (I apologise, it must have been really boring - thank you for listening!)
I made the choice to do something different and build a business around my daughters so that I could spend more time with them and could be a healthier, happier role model for them.
I often wonder if I hadn't had the girls when I did if I would have kept working the way I did before, or if I would have crashed and burned or done something different anyway.
I am incredibly grateful for the fact they made me realise I could live a different, happier life and they give me the push in the right direction.
If you take one thing away from this blog please ask anyone you meet their name first and then their kids name - they will be grateful that you noticed them.Suggest a correction